We’re embarking on a major program that will see over 60km of the Birrarung (Yarra River) receive a dedicated renewal over five years from 2022-2026 to help promote the health of our landmark waterway.

Why this is important

In Melbourne, the Birrarung (Yarra River), is essential to our way of life, providing a place for our native wildlife to thrive. It's the lifeblood of Melbourne and part of what makes living here so great.

That’s why Melbourne Water, alongside our key partners Parks Victoria, eight local Councils, the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people and our community, are delivering the Yarra Capital Improvement Program. This program will:

  • remove weeds from the river and its banks,
  • manage land in a culturally sensitive way,
  • plant habitats for native animals, such as waterbirds, fish, rakali and platypus, and
  • increase native plants along the river to promote urban cooling on shared trails.

Protecting the Birrarung  will allow us all to thrive and will strengthen one of Victoria’s most iconic waterways.

We are delivering key objectives from the Healthy Waterways Strategy and also outcomes for the Yarra Strategic Plan, Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo, working to achieve a 50 Year Community Vision that was developed by more than 2,500 Victorians.


The program spans from the Lower and Mid Yarra River sub catchments, from Abbotsford to Eltham. The work areas are highlighted in orange on the map below, covering over 60km of dedicated renewal along the Birrarung. 

Yarra Capital Improvement Program: Work areas
Map of the Yarra from Punt Road, Abbotsford to Laughing Waters, Eltham. The Yarra Capital Improvement Program work areas are highlighted in orange. The total work area is greater than 60km. Click to enlarge.

Collaboration partners

This program aims to deliver objectives from the Health Waterways Strategy and outcomes for both the Healthy Waterways Strategy and Yarra Strategic Plan Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo. 

Photo of revegetation planting completed at Banksia Park, Templestowe March 2023
Revegetation planting at Banksia Park, Templestowe March 2023

The collaboration includes representatives from local and state government, community groups and research organisations – all with a strong interest in improving the Birrarung.

Partners include:

  • Melbourne Water
  • Parks Victoria
  • Wurundjeri Narrap team
  • Yarra Riverkeeper Association
  • Local Councils in areas where works are taking place:
    • Banyule City Council
    • Boroondara City Council
    • Manningham City Council
    • Melbourne City Council
    • Nillumbik Shire Council
    • Stonnington City Council
    • Yarra City Council
    • Yarra Ranges Shire Council

Did you know: Each year, volunteers spend an incredible 50,000 hours working in parks along the Yarra.

What’s happening and when

These dates may be subject to change as more information becomes available.






Planning begins for a collaborative program of works in which a proposed section of 60km of the Birrarung will receive large scale investment for weed control and revegetation.



Planted 2000 native plants along 2km of the river to help improve water quality and vegetation cover between Dights Falls and Andrews Reserve.



Revegetation and weed control works were completed between Dights Falls and Eltham. We planted over 60,000 native plants along 40km of the river to improve waterway vegetation connectivity, and instream vegetation for aquatic habitats.


2023 - 2026

Across the Birrarung Estuary area, we will plant 1500 semi-aquatic plants along 10km of the river to improve instream vegetation for aquatic habitats.

Not Started

Future Works

We are planning future works into the Middle Birrarung, where weed control and revegetation will occur from Warrandyte to Wonga Park along a 20km stretch of the river. The Middle Birrarung works will complement the works also being done in the upper catchment of the river.

More information

Meet Nate, one of the passionate caretakers who has dedicated many years to our waterways. He shares his experience being a valuable team member of the Yarra Capital Improvement Program.
This is a visionary initiative spanning 60km of the river. From weeding to culturally sensitive land management, we're creating a legacy of collaboration that future generations can enjoy.

Yarra Capital Improvement Program – Meet Nate - transcript

Strategies and further reading

Yarra Strategic Plan Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo - The 10-year plan supports collaborative management of the Yarra and its lands to give effect to the community’s long-term vision.

Healthy Waterways Strategy - Yarra catchment - View annual progress towards 10-year targets for waterways in the catchment, as set out in the strategy.

Learn more about the Yarra River - Get to know the river by learning about the history, natural features, wildlife and much more. 

Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo
Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo


Healthy Waterways Strategy 2018 - 2028 Port Phillip and Westernport, Victoria
Healthy Waterways Strategy 2018 - 2028 Port Phillip and Westernport, Victoria




Contact us

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